This lesson is specific to going to the mall and buying some clothes. Rather, I realize the many people who live in Korea (or tourists coming to Korea) will need to face the challenge of buying something from somebody. Regardless of the country you are in, trying to communicate exactly what you want when purchasing something in a foreign country is always difficult.
Below is a list of vocabulary you may find useful when purchasing something in Korea.
가게 = store
시장 = market
백화점 = department store
전통시장 = traditional market
슈퍼 = supermarket
편의점 = convenience store
책 = book
서점 = bookstore
돈 = money
현금 = cash
신용 카드 = credit card
체크 카드 = debit card
적립카드 = point card
할인 = discount
할인카드 = discount card
값 = price
반값 = half price
가격 = price
가격표 = price tag
옷 = clothes
바지 = pants
셔츠 = shirt
신발 = shoes
양말 = socks
모자 = hat
기념품 = souvenirs
중고 = used
중고품 = a used item (second hand goods)
보증서 = warranty
고객(님) = customer
점원 = worker at a store
세금 = tax
쿠폰 = coupon
유통기한 = expiration date
영수증 = receipt
영업시간 = open hours
사다 = to buy
팔다 = to sell
되팔다 = to resell
내다 = to pay
계산하다 = to pay for
환불하다 = to refund
비교하다 = to compare
장을 보다 = to do the groceries
적립하다 = to save/accumulate (things like points)
입다 = to wear
입어보다 = to try something on
수선하다 = to hem/fix clothes
열다 = to open
닫다 = to close
비싸다 = expensive
싸다 = cheap
저렴하다 = inexpensive
크다 = big
작다 = small
많다 = a lot
가능하다 = possible
For help memorizing these words, try using our Memrise tool.
Now let’s look at some specific sentences that you may find useful when in a restaurant setting:
Going to the Store
전통시장이 어디에 있는 지 알아요? = Do you know where the traditional market is?
그 것을 어디서 살 수 있어요? = Where can you buy that?
그런 것을 어디서 살 수 있어요? = Where can you buy that kind of thing?
나는 편의점에 잠깐 들렸다 갈게요 = I’m going to go to the convenience store for a minute
저는 슈퍼에 갔다 왔어요 = I went to the supermarket (and came back here)
뭐 필요한 게 있어요? = Do you need anything?
그 것을 사려면 백화점에 가야 돼요 = If you want to buy that, you must go to the department store
이 게 얼마예요? = How much is this?
이 것이 얼마예요? = How much is this?
이 셔츠는 너무 커요 = This shirt is too big
너무 비싸요 = It is too expensive
이 바지를 입어봐도 돼요? = Can I try this on?
돈이 부족해요 = I don’t have enough money
가격을 깎아 주세요 = Please give me a discount
할인상품이 어디에 있어요? = Where are the discount products?
할인을 해 주세요 = Please give me a discount
다른 데에서 가격을 비교하자 = Let’s compare prices at another place
이 셔츠는 가격표가 없어요 = This shirt doesn’t have a price tag
계란을 사야 돼요 = I need to buy eggs
2개 주세요 = Give me two, please
이 거 세일 안 해요? = Are you not doing a sale on this?
적립카드가 있어요? = Do you have a point card?
적립카드를 신청하시면 포인트가 적립됩니다 = If you get a point card, you can save points
할인 카드가 있으시면 주세요 = If you have a discount card, please give it to me
세일 언제 해요? = When will you have a sale?
이 할인 쿠폰을 사용할 수 있나요? = Can I use this discount coupon?
영수증이 필요하세요? = Do you need the receipt?
봉지가 필요하세요? = Do you need a bag?
영수증을 주세요 = Please give me the receipt
신용카드로 계산할게요 = I’ll use a credit card to pay for this
우유를 살 때 유통기한을 꼭 확인하세요 = Make sure you check the expiration date when you buy milk
돈을 다 쓰지 않았더라면 그 것을 샀을 거야 = If I didn’t spend all my money, I would have bought that
After Buying Something
우유를 안 샀어요 = I didn’t buy milk
우유를 깜박했다 = I forgot about the milk
환불은 안 됩니다 = No refund
저는 펜 4개를 샀어요 = I bought 4 pens
저는 사과 1개만 샀어요 = I only bought 1 apple
저는 이 책을 반값에 샀어요 = I bought this shirt for half price
사과가 다 상해서 환불을 받아 야 돼요 = I need to get a refund because all the apples have gone bad
저는 나의 여자 친구를 위해(서) 꽃을 샀어요 = I bought flowers for my girlfriend
교환은 1주일 이내 가능합니다 = Exchanges are possible within one week
이 바지를 수선해 주세요 = Please hem these pants
이 시장에 사람이 너무 많아요 = There are so many people at the market
오늘 그 서점은 50% 세일을 하고 있어요 = Today that bookstore is running a 50% sale
세금은 가격에 포함된다 = The tax is included in the price
이 가게는 몇 시에 열어요? = What time does this store open?
이 가게는 몇 시에 닫아요? = What time does this store close?
영업시간은 오전 8시부터 오후 8시까지입니다 = Our opening hours are from 8 am to 8pm
그 백화점에서 옷을 사면 2%를 적립을 받을 수 있어요 = If you buy clothes at that department store, you can get 2% in points
저는 새로운 핸드폰을 사야겠어요 = I need to buy a new phone
그 주인은 고객님들을 잘 대우해요 = That owner treats the customers well
Shopping in Korea
A lot of Korean stores are these buildings called “상가.” Typically, this is a building made out of marble and has signs plastered all over it on the outside. In one of these buildings, there may be dozens upon dozens of stores (or other things like restaurants and other places of business). Stores in these buildings typically do not sell brand name products, although sometimes you will find a store in a 상가 that sells one specific brand name. The more popular brand names/stores would be on the ground floor of the building usually facing the street, while to get to other random stores you might have to go in and go up a few floors.
Higher-end merchandise is usually found at Department Stores (백화점). The most popular Department stores in Korea are: Lotte Department Store (롯데백화점), Shinsegae Department Store and (신세계백화점) and Hyundai Department Store (현대백화점).
Massive supermarkets also sell many types of merchandise other than food. The most popular of these are Home Plus (홈플러스), Lotte Mart (롯데마트), and E-Mart (이마트).
People working in any of these stores, but especially the department stores will go out of their way to help you and speak politely to you. By now, you probably haven’t learned about the honorific ~(으)시 form, but this is something that you will hear if you are speaking to somebody who is serving you in a store/restaurant. The word for customer is “고객,” but when an employee is talking to you as a customer, they will call you “고객님.”
Of course, you can always buy things in markets (시장). Of course, there are many markets scattered across Korea. The two most popular/famous in Seoul are Dongdaemun Market (동대문시장) and Namdaemun Market (남대문시장). In these types of markets, venders will have their goods in small stall-like spaces. Haggling for cheaper prices is not usually done in Korea, which is something I really like. I have been to many countries in the world (70 of them, actually), and there are very few countries where – even though you look different and everybody can see that you are a foreigner – nobody tries to take advantage of you because you are a foreigner. The old man in the stall in 동대문 market will sell you his Korean traditional clothing for the same price as he would sell it to a Korean person.
That’s it for this lesson. Click here to check out our next Theme Lesson.